‘Hobbling along!’ Joni Mitchell, 78, in health update as she makes rare public appearance
Woodstock ~ Joni Mitchell
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78-year-old Canadian singer Joni Mitchell, who is famous for anthems like ‘Woodstock’ and ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, spoke of the 2015 aneurysm to the gathered crowd in Washington DC.
Reflecting on the earliest major disease she’d suffered, she told the audience: “I always think that polio was a rehearsal for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t walk – I had to learn how again
“I’ve had to come back several times from things and this last one was a real whopper.
“But, you know, I’m hobbling along but I’m doing all right!”
After being discovered unconscious at her LA home more than six years ago, the singer – who is also a keen painter – had been hospitalised and diagnosed with an aneurysm.
She later gave an interview to the Guardian last year in which she revealed the progress she’d made on the road to recovery.
“I’m just concentrating on getting my health back,” she had explained.
“I haven’t been writing recently, I haven’t been playing my guitar or the piano or anything.
“I’m showing slow improvement but moving forward.
“I couldn’t walk – I had to learn how again. I couldn’t talk.
“Polio didn’t grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really, took away my speech and my ability to walk.
She added that although her speech returned quickly, walking was something she still struggled with.
However, she joked: “I’m a fighter! I’ve got Irish blood!”
On the night of the Kennedy Center Honors, Joni was joined by Bette Midler, Berry Gordy of Motown fame and the Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.
In a bid to regain her position in the public eye, Joni, who has not released a studio album since Shine in 2007, plans to be involved in a MusiCares tribute concert in January, which is run by the same company that hosts the annual Grammy Awards.
Previous award winners at the MusiCares event have included acts as diverse as Dolly Parton and Aerosmith.
She was also named MusiCare’s Person Of The Year for 2022.
Despite her struggles to walk, she still pushed ahead with her archival album last autumn, titled Joni Mitchell Archives Vol 1: The Early Years (1963-1967).
She also made headlines in recent years for revealing on CBC that she doesn’t consider herself to be a feminist.
The River hitmaker explained that she rejects the concept of a “posse against men”.
Nowadays, however, she is demonstrating a fighting spirit amid her health issues, telling audiences at the Kennedy Centre: “Here I go again! Another battle!”
It’s one that her many fans are hoping she will win.
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